Employment Contracts:  Understanding and Negotiating Favorable Terms

If you are beginning a new job or separating from your employer, it’s important that you completely understand the terms of your employment contracts. Unfortunately, many times employees’ rights are substantially affected because they did not negotiate favorable terms at the beginning of their employment relationship or did not follow the right steps prior to leaving the company.  You run the risk of losing out on opportunities if you do not understand what you have agreed to (for example, an agreement not to take a position with a competitor for a year after separation.)

Employment Contract Review and Negotiation

 Employees should understand what they are agreeing to before they sign an employment contract.  Often the terms are negotiable and employees don’t have to “take it or leave it” in order to secure the position with the employer.   We have negotiated with many of the law firms and employers in the area to achieve employment contracts with mutually agreeable terms and conditions of employment. 

Separation Agreement Review and Negotiation

Upon termination of your employment your employer may offer you a severance agreement.  In addition to providing some measure of compensation, separation agreements typically require include a “release of claims” provision and may often include restrictive covenants that can substantially impact your economic and professional forecast.

Analysis of Non-Compete Agreement

We can assist you in determining the enforceability of your non-competition agreement and negotiate on your behalf to mitigate its effects on your future employment.

1099 Independent Contractors

If you work, or have worked, as an independent contractor filing a 1099 form and believe you should have been paid as an employee, you may have recourse.  You may be able to have your status reclassified—even retroactively—if certain conditions apply to you.  While there is no one hard and fast rule about what makes a worker an employee, we will examine your particular circumstances to determine things like:

  • Whether you were required to report to a facility or use equipment provided by the company you worked for
  • Whether you were required to regularly report your time or clock in and out
  • If a supervisor managed your schedule or otherwise directed the way in which you completed your work

If these and other factors existed, your employer may be liable to you for unpaid taxes and overtime wages.

Wrongful Discharge and Termination

The law forbids discrimination in employment on the basis of disability, age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, family and medical (FMLA) leave, genetic information, pregnancy, and whistleblowing.  These laws also protect workers against sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation.  We can help you determine whether you have a viable claim against your former employer if you believe that you have been unlawfully dismissed from your job or otherwise suffer from workplace harassment.   Our attorneys have extensive experience contesting wrongful terminations of employment.